Running is a great time for thinking. I used to joke that I should charge my clients for my running time – often my best ideas come to me when I’m plodding around the mountain. Since Christmas there has been much to think about – I have given up the international contract that led to endless travel and now am building a new business. Reading and researching and doing some exercises to jog the creative mind in the quiet time between Christmas and New Year, I took a head full of thoughts out for a run. Accompanied by my constant running companions, Maebh and Jemima Chew, we set off into the relative cool of the forest. As we trotted down the track, an elegant buck quietly levitated, shot off for a few strides and ducked again. The girls were busy sniffing something and didn’t see her, so I ran faster, calling them as I went.
Imbued with the joy that comes from seeing some of the wildlife that shares this mountain with us, reflecting how lucky we are to be here, an idea struck me. A really good idea, for a new business, a service. I’ve been working on it ever since. Indeed it’s getting better and better as I work on it. So exciting and very motivating. Thank goodness for running, I wonder if I’d ever have thought of it, if I hadn’t gone for that run.
We’ve been shredded by wild tearing winds for days, one of the longest unbroken runs of wind that I can remember since we moved here. It’s calmed down a bit now, but the garden is battered and it’s incredible to think that anything will grow. Yet on the mountain we still come across new flowers. Finally the Tritoniopsis triticea is in flower. It’s later in the season than usual, and not as prolific but still a stunning flower.
The other amazing flowers are the pelargoniums. There are around 150 fynbos subspecies, many of those grown in gardens all over the world began their life here in the Cape. Pelargoniums are hardy beyond belief, some of the most common flower all year round. We’ve seen two new ones out running. This pink one had rather battered flowers and this was the best photo we could take. I haven’t managed to identify it precisely. The odd grey background is Maebh’s coat, she was keen to help and the grey sets off the pink perfectly.
This one could be Pelargonium dipetalum except that it is supposed to stick to the lowlands. It has emerged from nowhere in the middle of a rock hard road. The leaves have gone, they dry before flowering, and it’s a little burst of light and colour on the mountain.